welcome to "the news hour." these are our top stories. >> translator: we have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so. >> iran's new president promises his country will never build nuclear weapons and says he has full authority to negotiate with the west. egyptian security forces storm a cairo neighborhood arresting 48 people. syria's president assad says
he'll destroy his chemical weapons within a year but wants the u.s. to pay the billion dollar cost. plus, dozens dead, many more missing, and now hurricane manuel is causing chaos in mexico. well, iran's new president says he will bring change. he told a nbc news network they will not pursue a nuclear program. he said he has full authority to negotiate on the nuclear. he has changed cordial letters with the u.s. president barack obama and a dozen prominent political prisoners have been released in iran including this prominent human rights lawyer. all this just days before
rouhani travels to new york for the first time as president to address the u.n. general assembly. rosalyn jordan has reaction from washington. >> reporter: in his first interview since becoming the president of iran, rouhani wasted no time making news. is tehran trying to build a nuclear weapon arsenal. >> translator: we have never pursued a nuke bar lawmaker and would not do so. >> he said the obama administration wouldn't get mixed signals in future talk on the nuclear program. >> translator: in its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and authority. i have given the portfolio to the foreign ministry. the problem won't be from our side. we have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem. >> reporter: the u.s. has long accused iran of lying about
intentions, and that suspicion has driven washington to impose round after round of economic sanctions on tehran. analysts say those sanctions have starved the iranian economy, which rouhani is under pressure to rejuvenate. but the obama administration that tried and failed to have relations with the previous government of mahmoud ahmadinejad is trying again. >> there is an opportunity here for diplomacy. i hope the iranians take advantage of it. there are indications that rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialogue with the west and with the united states in a way that we haven't seen in the past. so we should test it. >> reporter: obama sent rouhani a letter of congratulations after his recent election, a gesture which rouhani welcomed. after the government released 11 political prisoners on wednesday, including a human rights lawyer, this reaction from the u.s. state department. we welcome today's report that
the iranian government has released several prisoners of conscience. in the months ahead, we hope he will continue to keep his promises to the iranian people. both rowhani and obama will be at the united nations next week for the start of the general assembly. so far aides say there are no plans for the two to meet, but with both leaders extending feelers it's looking at what was once unthinkable is merging into the realm of possible. well, the white house gave this statement in response to president rouhani's interview. we hope that this new iranian government will engage substantively in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community's concerns about iran's nuclear program. we remain ready to engage with the row huhani government to ge peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue.
>> reporter: how significant a development is this? >> i think it's very significant. we are observing very hopeful, positive signs and positive moves from the new elected president, rouhani. there's importance attached in tehran to his travel to new york. we are hoping that he will be meeting president obama. if that goes ahead, it will be for the first time during the past 34 years after the islamic revolution for the first time an iranian president is actually meeting an american president. that in itself is a very
significant development. >> does rouhani have the full backing of the supreme leader? could he make a statement if he didn't have the supreme leader's backing? >> there are two signs that apparently he has managed to win the full support and approval of the iranian supreme leader atola hamini. a couple weeks ago there was an announcement by the president that the whole negotiation over the nuclear issue has been removed from the iranian high national security to the ministry of foreign affairs. in other words, it has been removed from the military people from revolutionary guard people, from intelligence people to people in foreign ministry. that in itself was a very
significant development. however, 48 hours ago the iranian supreme leader in a meeting with the revolutionary guard specifically mentioned that he used the successful, smiling meaning that they are going to trust negotiating with the united states. >> why is this change in the iranian tone? is it a serious attempt to try and get those sanctions against iran lifted? >> well obviously the hardliners are not very happy about these changes. they keep distrusting the united states and the west for that matter, but it appears that the iranian leader is saying more or less to president rouhani and
reformists and others who are seeking a change in iran that, i am not very much hopeful that the united states would respond to our positive response, but you can go ahead and you can test and see how sincere the americans are. in other words, the supreme leader is saying that i'm not trusting washington, but if you think washington is serious, i am prepared to test washington's sincerity. >> all right. washington will also, of course, be watching to see if iran is sincere. thank you for speaking to us, a professor of political science. >> exactly, exactly. >> thank you, sir. egyptian security forces have arrested 48 people after storming the kedasah district
east of cairo. they're looking for others following the overthrow of president mohammed morley. let's speak to our correspondent in cairo we're not naming for security reasons. what's the latest on the crackdown? is it still ongoing from what you're hearing? >> reporter: i think most of the fighting in kedasah has finished now. they might have small pockets of resistance inside the town. it was a big operation that started before dawn about 3:00 a.m. local time, and police and army moved into kedasah with some considerable firepower. they had personnel carriers and lots of troops and police officers all arms. they subsequently asked for backup. they got some further troops being sent in.
this does seem to calm down now. 48 people are arrested, and police say included in that number are three who were responsible for the storming of the police station in kerr dash saw. back in the middle of august just after the sit-ins were cleared in cairo with deadly effect, there was an angry response in kerdassa to that.
it's been a no-go for police since then. the government is reassessing its control on kerz. >> reporter: it looks like the police and army have sealed off the town and closed down some of the mosques there and shut the exit and entrance points to the town, in and out. it looked like they have chrome of kerdasah. it's a similar operation to something that happened a few days ago down in the south of egypt in a place called delga, which similarly the police have been chased out a number of weeks ago. it was a no-go zone for the police, and a couple of days ago, there was an operation to go into the city and retake
control. what we're seeing this week in egypt is basically the interim government trying to grab back areas of the country that have been eluding it security-wise for the last few weeks. of course, there's still that insu insurgegery -- insurgency goingn in sinai. that's a problem. >> thank you very much from our course depth in cairo. in libya lawyers are due in court in tripoli where judges will decide how the case against him will procedure. the son of the former leader gaddafi faces a series of charges relating to the 2011 war. he's charged with murder, harming state security and insulting libya's new flag. gaddafi's former spy chief is also being charged with murder. if convicted they both face a death sentence. 36 others are also facing
charges including the encitement to rape and forming armed groups to undermine state security. libya's attorney general the day has been keenly awaited by the libyan people. >> translator: the case of the officials of the gaddafi regime will be transferred to the indictment chamber on thursday, september 19th. now we keep our promise and present this case, which is awaited by the libyan people for a long time. it will be transferred to the indictment chamber in the tripoli junior court. global stock markets surged in response from news from the u.s. central bank. the federal reserve will keep the stimulus program unchanged and pump billions of extra dollars into the economy. earlier hints it would be scaled back caused serious problems in emerging economies. patty has more from washington. >> reporter: a big economic announcement from the chairman of the u.s. federal reserve, ben bernanke. it was expected to impact the
world economy, but he changed course. >> we're going to make no change in either the asset purchase program. >> reporter: translation, the u.s. central bank will continue printing money, spending $85 billion a month to buy u.s. bonds and securities. they had been expected to scale back, but bernanke says the u.s. isn't creating enough jobs, and with the continuing fight between the president and republicans in congress and the possible consequences, the fed will wait. >> it is the case, i think, that a government shutdown and perhaps even more so a failure to raise the debt limit could have very serious consequences for the financial markets and for the economy. the federal reserve's policy is to do whatever we can to keep the economy on course. >> reporter: what that means? the dollar will stay weak, and economists say that helps developing economies. >> right now this is good news for the developing markets,
because u.s. interest rates are staying low so the u.s. will continue to be, you know, kind of like a lawn blower blowing cash towards the bricks rather than the rivers. >> reporter: the bricks? brazil, russia, india, china and south africa feel the effects of the talk of change. in a new poll 900 investors were asked to pick one or two countries which would be the worst investment opportunities next year. 25% said brazil, 24% russia, india fared the worst of all. 35% saying they wouldn't put their money there. 23% said china. the developed countries did much better. the news out of washington could halt the destabilizing impact on the developing world for now. >> thank you. >> reporter: but bernanke made it clear that the policy is going to change. it's just a question of when. patty colhain, al jazeera,
washington. i don't know why he did what he did, and i won't be able to ask him why. >> the mother of the gunman who police say killed 12 people at the washington navy yard on monday apologizes for her son's actions. ifrmths . plus, making room for half a million refugees that have sought refuge inside jordan. the return to the champions league with chelsea doesn't go as planned. the syrian president bashar al assad told a u.s. television channel that syria is ready to destroy its chemical weapons. he denied his government was behind last month's attack, but insisted he would fully abide by laws set out in the chemical weapons convention saying, quote, we didn't say that they are joining partly that agreement or organization.
we joined fully. we sent a letter and documents, and we are committed to the full requirements of the agree. they need $1 billion, and if the american administration is ready to pay that money and bring toxic material to the united states, why don't they do it? he denied responsibility for the last month's chemical attack saying no one verified the credibility of the video and pictures. the only verified things are the samples that the delegation took. on the ground in syria fighters aposed to assad's government are making a slow advance onto the capital. al jazeera's team filmed rebel groups as they push towards damasc damascus. we have more. >> reporter: rebel fighters are on high alert on the outskirts of damascus. this is close to the scene of
the august 21st chemical attack that shocked the world. assad's forces have been relentless as they try to stop the rebels from advancing onto the capital. the area has been under siege for weeks now, but opposition fighters say they're gradually advancing and breaking the government-imposed siege. >> translator: together with the other rebel groups and brigades, we're fending off any attacks by assad's forces, and by the grace of god we managed to inflict huge losses on them. >> reporter: as the rebels show al jazeera's team the trenches they dug up, the sound of gunfire rings out. within minutes they're in position firing back round after round of ammunition. this particular battle goes on for some time, but neither side is able to advance. here it's all about how many meters you can move or buildings you can capture. >> translator: we are holding steadfast and will remain
steadfast. we have already destroyed many of the hardware, as you can see. >> reporter: it is these destroyed tanks and armored vehicles he's referring to. assad's army set up bases here, but after a fierce battle with opposition fighters, they were forced to abandon their post and retreat. despite this, the rebels know that the closer they get to damascus, the stronger and better equipped their enemy becomes: . meanwhile fighters affiliated to al qaeda have taken control of a town near syria's border with turkey. both sides are fighting to topple president assad and his forces. the battle started after they refused to hand over a german doctor accused of being a spy. international aid agency oxfam says many countries are
falling far short of what to give syria in humanitarian aid. according to obsession familiar only 44% of the sum has been receive france has gin just under 50%. the u.s. has given the most to syria, and that's 63% of its fair share according to oxfam. that money is needed to provide for syria's growing number of refugees, more than half a million have crossed into jordan alone since the start of the war. now jordan's government is opening a new camp. we report from the town of the new camp. >> translator: this is where jordan's second refugee camp for syrians is being built. it's in azraq east of the capital near jordan's border with saudi arabia. construction began in april when
the government realized that syrian refugees were going to keep coming. jordan already has the largest refugee camp for syrians in the region and the second largest in the world. this new facility is even bigger, eventually able to house 130,000 people. >> any influx that comes in right now, immediately we have room in the camp, which can straightaway absorb 20,000 up front. azraq as it is, we can go up to 20,000 plus to be absorbed >> reporter: this is a vast desert of volcanic rock with a severe climate. >> we're working on smaller water and sanitation units to serve less people and there's more ownership and less
validism. we have units for about 16,000 people, but they can be available for 50,000 people as of today. >> reporter: aid agencies hope to get the camp up and running with $60 million worth of funding. huge water and septic tanks have been installed and roads have been paved. after listening to the frustrations of syrians, homes have been redesigned based on their feedback. these new fabricated units are more durable structures and are able to withstand extreme weather conditions. families can also enjoy more privacy because they can install partitions inside their homes. the government refused to allow more permanent buildings than these. there are fears that anything built with cement could mean this colossal refugee crisis is here to stay. nobody knows if this camp will ever fill up, but by building it, the jordanian government is not taking any chances with the
war next door. at least 80 people are dead in mexico after it was lashed by two powerful storms, one of which is now a hurricane. the state of guerrero on the pacific coast is one of the hardest-hit areas. david mercer is in acapulco where the rescuers are battling to reach thousands of people. >> reporter: desperate for help, hundreds of people from the village have been stranded for days. many have gone without food or drinking water since severe flooding left them homeless. government-provided rations are a lifeline, but people say it's not enough. >> translator: we haven't eaten since it started raining. the water took away everything. the children are sick. >> reporter: fisherman jose lopez says he was lucky to get his disabled daughter out of their house in time. >> translator: look at my house now. the water took everything, the bed, fridge, everything.
we're homeless now. >> reporter: more than a million people were affected by two tropical storms that slammed into mexico last weekend. worst hit was the pacific state of guerrero where more than 40 people have died. in some areas two months' worth of rain fell in just two days. thousands have been forced to seek refuge in acapulco. here people wait for the water to recede and mudslides to be cleared, wondering what awaits them when they return home, but the government has a perhaps more pressing job to take care of first. 40,000 tourists have been trapped in acapulco since the storms hit. many say they've been here waiting in line for a flight for more than three days. they're hot. they're tired. they've had enough. as tensions rise, some passengers have started blocking the entrance to the military airstrip. >> translator: planes keep arriving and leave but the line doesn't move. there's a lot of people with little children sleeping here
for 72 hours. >> reporter: with more storms on the way, the government is now racing against time trying to get supplies to where they're needed the most. david mercer, al jazeera, acapulco, mexico. while there have been all those storms in and around mexico, it's all a bit confusing. steph is here at our weather center. can you clear it up please for us, stef. which storm hit where and when. >> let's look at what manuel did first. here it was as it ran up the west coast. that's where it first made landfall as a tropical storm. then it disintegrated to a depression. we thought it wasn't going to do a great deal more, but suddenly at the last minute it became a hurricane once more and slammed back in for a second time in the western parts of mexico. we've seen heavy downpours and a lot of flooding thanks to manuel. also in the east we had another
storm. this was ingrid, and first of all, it made a dip towards veracruz state and swung back out and went towards the northeastern parts of mexico. so for many of us in the eastern parts have seen some flooding, and that was thanks to our storm, ingrid. we're not quite finished yet. we have another area of wet weather we're watching very closely. this one has a 70% chance of becoming a storm as we head through the next 48 hours, so it really is quite likely we'll see another storm develop through the next couple of days. whether it becomes a storm or not, we'll see a lot of wet weather here. what this system will do is drag winds up from the southwest. that's not good news, because as it does so, those winds are laden with moisture and we have more heavy rain and potentially flooding along the southwestern coast. >> stef, thanks very much indeed, former world heavyweight boxing champion ken norton died of a heart attack at the age of
70. he was best known of breaking ali's jaw in their first fight in 1973. our sports reporter is here with more for us. how good was ken norton? >> the fact he beat ali would suggest he's quite good. he fought him three times and broke his jaw famously in 1973. norton was part of a goaden generation of heavyweight boxers in 1970s. we have names like joe frazier, george forman, leon spinks and larry holmes. what boxing would give to have talent like that. >> are there a few household names -- i'm no boxes expert. there aren't names like that anymore? >> absolutely not. it's more about the money earned rather than the boxing itself.
nowadays many fights are pay-per-view events and that fight last week cost $70 for people in the united states to watch. very hard for people to watch boxing and doesn't have the global reach it did in the 1970s. >> how do you think that ken norton will be remembered? >> a man with an extremely powerful punch, a punch that would have knocked down most heavyweights these days as well. if you broke muhammad ali's jaw, you must be something special. >> thanks very much. lots more coming up here on al jazeera. u.s. officials seize a new york skyscraper over ownership links to iran. >> translator: how else will i survive and feed myself if i don't come here? >> the plight of india's widows cast out by their families and with little to survive on. all the sports news coming
ready to destroy syria's chemical weapons speaking on u.s. television. he said he would fully comply with the chemical weapons convention, but he denied his government was behind last month's chemical attack near damascus. iran's president says his country will never build a weapon of mass destruction, and he's been given full authority to negotiate a deal on iran's nuclear program. it's not all going smoothly, iranian economic interests are hurt at home and overseas. the u.s. has blacklisted a number of iranian companies and has seized a large part of a skyscraper in new york. we have the story. >> translator: it is 36 floors of prime manhattan real estate, and the largest asset ever seized by the u.s. government for alleged links to terrorism. you might not guess it's from the stores that rent space here, the office building on fifth avenue is according to a federal
judge a front for the iranian government. the u.s. attorney's office first filed suit against the building's co-owners in 2008. assa corporation and the alavi foundation. the persian charity responded to a ruling with a statement on their website. we have reviewed the decision and disagree with the court's analysis of the facts and the law. the foundation was ready for trial and is disappointed it didn't have the opportunity to rebut the government evidence before a jury. but the judge said it was indisputable, that alavi board members were involved in the creation of assa corporation as a front in 1989 and remained with the board after the sanctions aimed at curbing iran's nuclear program took effect. >> hopefully now impact, but some people may misinterpret this as an unfriendly gesture just as mr. rouhani is coming to new york for the first meeting
of the u.n. general assembly. i think that would be a serious mistake. the case has been underway for many years. >> reporter: iranian president rouhani is expected here at the united nations in new york next week on the same day as u.s. president barack obama. the two have shown a willingness to work together to resolve their disputes, even prompting speculation they might meet here. the white house denies any plans for a meeting, but ironically the u.s. has eased some sanctions related to humanitarian and goodwill activities in recent weeks. rouhani has released a number of political prisoners. the stakes for both politicians are high, perhaps even higher than a new york skyscraper. children in the iraqi capital have reportedly discovered ten handcuffed and blindfolded bodies in the eastern part of the city. the corpses of ten unidentified
men were discovered in an abandoned willing. police say residents had noticed unusual activity around the structure, which caught the attention of the children. it's not yet clear who is behind the killings. ten policemen have been killed in an ambush in northeastern afghanistan. afghan soldiers recently carried out a week-long operation in the area. they reportedly killed 50 taliban fighters there. the mother of the gunman who police say killed 12 people at the washington navy yard on monday has expressed remorse at her son's actions. the u.s. military is now looking into new measures to protect its employees from what it calls workplace violence. alan fisher reports. >> reporter: they know who but don't know why. u.s. investigators are still trying to figure out why aaron
ales -- alexis killed 12 people. his mother have apologized to the victims' family. >> his actions have had a profound and ever-lasting effect on the families of the victims. i don't know why he did what he did, and i will never be able to ask him. >> reporter: at the pentagon reporters wanted to know why his past didn't keep him from getting a job as a defense contractor and secret security clearance. the former sailor had a history of run-ins with law enforcement. a month ago he called police in rhode island to complain he was hearing voices. authorities say alexis was never convicted of a crime and so passed background screening. they admit more could be done. >> there were a lot of red flags as you noted. why they didn't get picked up and incorporated into the clearance process, what he was doing, those are all legitimate questions that we're going to be dealing with.
>> reporter: one thing officials quickly dismissed before they cut corners to save money. >> the budget issue did not degrade the security at the navy yard and in any way contribute to this. >> reporter: the military refused to weigh in on the need for expanded gun control in the u.s., while a number of gun control groups called for tougher screening laws to prevent people such as alexis from purchasing firearms. as the pentagon and white house made plans for a memorial service on sunday, some of the relatives of the navy yard workers urged the public not to forget their loved ones. >> my husband was wonderful, wonderful man. he was always happy. >> a call to remember, even as the search for answers is just beginning. alan fisher, al jazeera, washington. facebook has apologized for featuring a dating advertisement using the photo of a teenager that committed suicide. the 17-year-old canadian reteah
parsons killed herself after she was cyber-bullying. the parents are disgusted with the advertisement. facebook said the company that produced it has been banned from the social network. we're looking at live pictures now from the capital of mali. heads of state are arriving for the inauguration of the new president. the french president francois hollande is on the guest list. french troops joined forces with mali's military in january. they were left in disarray after a military coup in march of last year. those are live pictures just ahead of the inauguration of the new president. after 11 days of violence, the philippine government says
it has contained rebels holding out in zamboanga city. they say up to 40 fighters are still holding 21 people hostage. around 100 rebels from the moro national liberation front have been arrested. united nations investigators have revealed what they call unspeakable atroscities in north korea. the head of an inquiry says the government has systemically violated human rights. the panel is hearing evidence in bangkok. veronica went to meet a family that will soon testify. >> reporter: if she is listening, her brother has a message for her. >> translator: i miss you so much. i miss you every day. i've been waiting so long for her. i'm deaf. i can't hear anymore. >> reporter: if she's alive today, she would be 58. for more than a quarter of a century, her family had no idea how or why she disappeared while
working as a massage thairns in makow in 1978. then came news from a couple who said they knew her well from, of all places, north korea. >> translator: the reporter came to see us. all of our family gathered in the house and cried for her. >> reporter: american deserter charles jenkins showed this picture to the world. he's in the foreground, but him and his japanese abductee wife caught unaware is a woman who said her name was anocha and she was from thailand. this is the house that her family built with the money she used to send back to them in northern thailand. her brother and his son have continued to ask the thai government to pressure the north korean government for her release. pyongyang denies the story, and the current government in bangkok isn't inclined to help. >> translator: they don't pay attention to this case.
i'm really disappointed about it, and it's very sad. i went to talk to the foreign minister, but he refused to see me. >> their garden blooms this season, the work of a modest farming family with no political influence. so these were her favorite toys as she was growing up when she was just a child, her dolls. she kept them safe with her as she got older. now her brother and her nephew are keeping them safe for her until she comes back to reclaim them. it's as if time stood still in her old bedroom. her clothes appropriate for the 1970s with the proof she's born on the scrolls and the proof she's missed etched on the face of her waiting brother. verronica pedrosa, al jazeera.
under hindu traditions many women whose husbands have died are not allowed to remarry, and with few work opportunities many are known to travel to a place now know as the city of widows. >> reporter: in a city once famous for its temples, an estimated 20,000 destitute women seek refuge on the streets. they have come here to the state because their families saw them as a financial burden, and they were abandoned. this woman is one of them. with no other means of income, she makes some money singing at this chanting center. >> translator: how else will i survive? i chant harry krish that and that's how i earn the money. how do i feed myself if i don't come here? >> reporter: while many widows receive an annual pension of $60, several others receive no
help from the government. they tell me why the widows' pension scheme doesn't work for all. >> translator: the main problem is we don't have an identified residence. we go by the information collected through surveys, and that's how we carry out inspections. often we are begin wrong addresses so it becomes a home in issuing a pension card. >> reporter: many widows receive food from a number of charities, but the challenge is finding shelter, electricity and water. almost a third of them live on the streets or on empty plots of land. i just had a little beacon here, and this is where one of the widows lives. this room is made of clay and brick, and with temperatures rising above 30 degrees in the summer, you can imagine it's really easy to bake in here. there are advocates demanding a
better life for them, like this doctor. he sells toilets across india and uses the profits to provide a monthly wage to over 900 widows. >> translator: it is important that we look after all their needs, their food, their work, their livelihoods, but most importantly how think can live in society with dignity and with self-respect. >> reporter: while individuals and groups continue to work for the welfare of these neglected women, many believe they need training instead of welfare so they feel empowered and not abandoned. all the sports news is coming up. jose marino's return to the champions league with chelsea doesn't go as planned.
welcome back. emergency workers in canada stayed at the scene late on wednesday as they tried to move a derailed train. six people were killed and 30 others injured when a train collided with a double-decker bus in the canadian capital of ottawa. it's not clear why the bus smashed through the area. this is the second major rail accident in less than three months. a runaway train derailed last july. a european customs officer was killed on patrol in kosovo.
two staff came under fire in a region controlled by ethnic serbs. the town is split between ethnic serbs and kosovo ail painians. it's the first since the mission was created five years ago cost voe declared independence from bosn bosnia. a special senate committee has voted against berlusconi, but he insists he'll stay in politics. phil lavalle reports. >> reporter: for a man used to getting his own way, it was the moment silvio berlusconi was dreading. a vote making it more likely this disgraced politician should be stripped of his seat, the ultimate humiliation. hours earlier he gave a statesmanlike speech, but he isn't a statesman anymore. he's a convicted criminal banned
from holding office. >> translator: i have not committed any crime. i am not guilty of anything. i am innocent. i am absolutely innocent. >> reporter: experts were divided. with a resignation comes, could it be a career relaunch. it was neither. he reminds the world he is still here. >> somebody has decided to get rid of mr. berlusconi not through democratic elections but judicial means with forcing the rules and going against our constitution. >> reporter: berlusconi is one of italy's richest men with a $9 billion family fortune, but his own fortunes took a negative turn in august when a conviction for tax evausion was upheld. this is one of many setbacks for the man who spent years living his life in front of the cameras and in front of the courts. in june the 76-year-old was
convicted of paying this underage girl for sex, and earlier this week italy's supreme court decided berlusconi's family must pay around $670 million in damages to a media rival in a case involving bribery of a judge more than 20 years ago. so fighting allegations fighting competitors, now berlusconi's biggest political fight is underway. there's one thing that is almost certain, and it's this. with silvio berlusconi at the heart of it, it won't be a quiet affair. phil la veal, al jazeera. we're looking at live pictures from the mali capital. the french president has just arrived to attend the inauguration of the new president. now, french troops, of course, joined forces with mali's military in january to try and stop a rebel advance in the
north of the country. the french president has praised mali's return to democracy. the former french colony, of course, entering a new era of democracy after months of political chaos there. hollande is praising this return to democratic rule. the new president, of course, was democratically elected in a landslide. francois hollande is accompanied by four for minnesota st sters talk about the fight against corruption. let's move to other news now. opinion polls in germany suggest that angela merkel's christian democratic party is likely to remain the strongest in the upcoming elections this weekend. about the future of the free democratic party is looking doubtful and it's asking merkel
supporters to r -- for a sympathy vote to preserve the coalition. nick spicer explains from berlin. >> reporter: for some seven decades the democratic party is the kingmaker of german politics. small but joining so many coalitions, it's been in government longer than any other party. the crushing 3% score last weekend suggested the king-making magic was leaving there. the free democratic party leader is risks the anger of merkel asking her supporters to play the system casting one of the two votes for his own party in sunday's national election. >> translator: we want the successful coalition to continue, and that's kr we are lobbying hard to get the second vote. >> reporter: the problem is the free democrats may not get the 5% of votes they need to get any representation in parliament. so the kingmakers may become
something more like the king in chess, a critical piece to winning, but also one of the most vulnerable. a big part of their problem is the global economic crisis and the period of increased government spending, for instance, to protect jobs in the steel industry. that prevented merkel's government from delivering the tax cuts the free democrats promised in the last election. amongst the party faithful, not everyone is convinced merkel's voters will come to the rescue. >> i'm not sure if they're going to be successful. i think there's going to be a lot of people to give them their votes. >> chancellor merkel is tells her voters to ignore the calls for help, even though she says their her favorite coalition partners. she doesn't want her own party weakened. for now the next move is with the german voters. nick spicer, al jazeera. raul is here now with the rest of the day's big sports
stories. >> thank you very much. marino have accepted the blame for chelsea's 2-1 loss against basel in the champions league. they put the london club ahead just before the intervals, but goals gave them a surprise victory. it's chelsea's first home loss in the champions league group stages for a decade. >> i am responsible. i like in the good moments a place to shine, and so happy tom here in good moments and say this player had a fantastic performance. this player was outstanding. when you lose, i am the responsible one, and i don't like to obviously in a moment of defeat say this player was better or worse than one. >> messi had a hat trick. the argentinian took his tally to 62 goals.
here are the scores in the 4-0 win. >> translator: during the first half, we didn't dominate the game the way we like, especially playing here. we like to control the ball more, but in front of us we had a team that also liked to control the ball and knows how to escape from pressure situations. i think we could have played better during the first half, but we found our tone after the break and scored the goals that gave us the victory. >> eight matches in total, last year's runner-appear was beaten by napoli and an important win for arsenal in the tough group. they were 2-1 winners. now, what looks to be a major breakthrough in the battle against corruption in football, police in singapore arrested 14 people thought to be involved in global match-fixing. in a statement interpol secretary-general said singaporean authorities have taken an important step to crack
down on a syndicate by arresting the named suspects in the case, including the suspected mastermind. no person should doubt singapore's commitment to fighting match-fixes. for more on this i'm joined by neal humphries, a journalist and author in singapore who wrote a book on asian match-fixing. these relate to you europol investigation earlier this year. champions league and world cup qualifiers had happen. how serious a problem is corruption within high-level, high-profile football? >> it's extremely high. international match fixing is a hydra. this syndicate, if it's the one we suspect it is, then there are direct links to those matches that you mention in europe, in
the far east, and in africa. 680 games with direct links to this syndicate. even though this syndicate has allegedly been broken up, there are at least six five or six other match-fixing syndicates we know of operating in singapore right now. >> obviously singapore is the base for most of these betting syndicates. are the authorities there getting to grips with the problem? >> they got a hard time, didn't they, when the story first broke in february, the investigations? they don't want to take an apple here. they want to go after the whole tree. there's no reason to go after the headline to get the main men when they can take down the entire syndicate. they're working with danton for a number of months now, so it's clear it wasn't going to one figure but the entire syndicate. i think they deserve some credit
here for diligent investigative work. it does look like they have taken down the thai syndicate and it looks like the biggest syndicate taken down in the last two decades. >> thanks very much for that. staying with football, but to matters on the pitch. they have extended their lead in the brazilian standings after a victory. the match was highlighted by stunning first half strikes by a midfielder. did he mean it? well, these brazilians probably did. team new zealand is on the brink of securing sailing america's cup. the kiwis won race 11 on wednesday, but they were denied a decisive ninth victory when high winds happened in san francisco bay postponing the race. there's more sports on our website, check out
aljazeera.com/sports and also details how to get in touch with our team using twitter and facebook. the top story there, the sad death of ken norton. that is all for sports now. i'll have more sports later. >> see you later. before we go, some stories on man malls. the first sanctuary for pygmy elephants have opened. it's a refuge for the animals that are fast losing access to their natural habitat. the opening has drawn criticism the sanctuary is funded in large part by money made through palm oil, and that's the industry which activists is causing harm to the wildlife and environment. one of the largest saltwater crocodiles in captivity went on display at a melbourne aquarium. he weighs 750 kilograms and he was moved from his home because of bad behavior intimidating the female crocodiles.
>> good morning. this is aljazeera. i'm richelle carey. two deadly storms clam into mexico. the damage to the country is catastrophic. >> standoff on the budget. republican leaders will prevent a government shutdown but only if they get their way on obamacare. >> more violent clashes in the streets of egypt, bun dead after gunfire breaks out between security forces and armed groups. ♪ theme >> hurricane manuel is causing major devastation i